Award winning wildlife photographer Simon Roy showed the club a range of his superbly crafted images and gave an insight into how they were created. Simon mainly photographs the wildlife found near his home and in his Yorkshire garden as he likes go back time and time again to observe his subjects.
Simon has a background in graphic design which is a great help in creating well composed images that do well commercially and for editorial use. Many are published in wildlife and photography magazines. The images are often deceptively simple with soft subtle harmonising colours and good use of negative space.
From a young age Simon has built up his knowledge of his wildlife subjects he is able to predict by observing their habits where he will be able to get the photograph he wants. Whilst observing a Water Vole trying to reach some berries overhanging the water he improvised by fabricating a rock that appeared under the bramble which led to his image ‘Ratty Breakfast’
Simon takes great care that the colour of the out of focus background co-ordinates well with his subject and sometimes even sets up a suitable piece of board to mask out an unwanted distraction.
Simon showed the time and trouble he takes to set up his images in order to get the bird or mammal to appear in just in the right place. Small mammals and birds can be tempted by cleverly hidden pots of food to appear in just the spot Simon has set up.
He observed bank voles in his garden and set up feeding stations so that the voles could be photographed in a range of situations. In the image ‘Life in an Old Boot’ Simon adapted the boot so that vole poked its head through the hole.
With remarkable patience, Simon goes back time and time again to the same place to get the image he has in mind. The image of a partridge amongst the heather took 5 years before achieving just the image he planned.
The relationship between man and nature is a recurring interest with wildlife often photographed alongside manmade structures. Other projects that Simon often goes back to is wildlife in snow and bluebell woods with birds, foxes, squirrels and deer. Tiny wrens are one of his favourite birds and bluebells feature in his endearing image ‘Morning Blues’
Simon sets up hides so that he can take images of Little Owls as well as small woodland birds, hares and rabbits. At one time he had captive harvest mice which he was able to take out and carefully position on wild vegetation to great effect.
With his creative ideas Simon carefully plans out his images in great detail and he showed us how he sets out an area to attract his subject. Planning, patience and knowledge of the subject are crucial to achieve such high quality wildlife images.
Simon was thanked for such very interesting and enlightening insight into his photography and for showing such a wide range of superb images. PM
See more of Simon's images